Tag Archives: About me

Hello again!

Well, this is a little weird. It’s been about a year since I blogged and I just read my last post and it reminded me of how excited (and worn out) I was getting ready for our big move to Europe. If you saw my twitter thread recently, you’ll know that things haven’t turned out as expected and I’ll be returning home to Australia as a single mother.

Because of this, my emotions have been all over the place, as you can imagine. But, at the same time, I can’t wait to get back home and return to normal. (According to an app on my phone, I have 55 days, 23 hours, 58 mins, and 12 seconds until I leave) I haven’t written anything in over a year but I’m excited that I’ll be able to get back into it as soon as I’m settled back home again. There are two guys who are demanding my attention to finish their story and give them their HEA so I better move my arse.

(Also don’t be surprised if I write a book about a couple going through a divorce. Inspiration comes from the weirdest places.)

I actually don’t have any news, just that I’m excited to be going home, even if the circumstances are not ideal, but I’m also positive for the future. This is my chance to have the kind of life I want, without having to answer to anyone. It’s my chance to prove how strong and capable I am.

Love and light to all,
RJ

Gratuitous pic of Fatboy x

Some do’s and don’t’s of selling stuff online. And people who suck.

For those of you that have met me know that I’m a fairly nice person. I’m friendly and welcoming even though I think the majority of humans suck. I’m terrible at small talk and it’s the one thing that makes me itch.  However, I will go out of my way to help you. I will do the right thing. However, my stance on the suckiness of the human race has been reinforced by having to deal with people while selling my furniture and cars online.

So here are some tips for you if you’re selling your belongings over the internet:

1. Don’t use your phone. Get a burner phone or buy a cheap sim card. The reason for this will become clear later.

2. If you’re a single woman (or a woman whose husband works overseas) pretend you’re married. Get your neighbour, who looks like a member of the Coffin Cheaters, but is actually a bearded, tattooed, and pierced softy, to act like your husband. (Thanks, John. You’re the best.) If you don’t have a John (or a Barry, Bruce, or a Brandon) tell potential purchasers that your husband is at work and will be home that afternoon or night. People will take advantage of a woman on their own. Not everyone, sure, but the potential is there.

3. If the potential purchasers make you uncomfortable for any reason, don’t let them in your house. Halt them at the front door and tell them sorry, but the bed, couch, TV, whatever, just sold 15 minutes ago. Do not let them in! You are under no obligation to sell them anything.

4. Stick to your price. People will try and talk you down, especially if they know you have to sell. Don’t be unreasonable with your pricing, but stick to your guns. You need the money. If they want it badly enough, they’ll pay for it. If they don’t, someone else will.

Some tips if you’re buying:

1. Firstly, and this is the biggest so listen closely: Don’t be a dick. Turn up on time, be polite, and if something happens and you can’t make it, let the seller know. Manners, people, manners.

2. The seller is under no obligation to sell you their item. If you demand stuff that is above and beyond, like insisting that the seller spends three hours of their time and a few hundred of their dollars getting a mechanical check on the car that you want to buy from them, before you commit to a sale, don’t be surprised when they tell you where to get off. If you want a check done on a car (that’s only 3 years old and has a full history) then get it done on your time at your expense. They have mobile mechanics these days that will come to the house. This is not the seller’s responsibility. Neither is it their duty to purchase a warranty out of their pocket for the car you want to buy, again before you commit to the sale. That’s just not on, peeps.

3. If you purchase some furniture on behalf of someone else, for example, a homeless man that you have put up in an apartment, and need some cheap but good stuff, don’t mistake the seller’s friendly personality as someone you can bully. If she feels like helping you help the homeless man by knocking some off the price and giving you a bunch of free stuff (lamps, pictures, etc) don’t change your mind and ask for a refund after you’ve picked the items up and left. If you change your mind, tough luck. The seller is not a shop. You can’t have a refund. If the seller doesn’t give you the refund you demand, don’t then insult her via numerous text messages and tell her what a horrible human being she is. You got a bunch of free stuff. She’s by herself with no husband to make her feel protected. Feeling like she needs to check all the doors and window locks in the house and go to bed with the phone in her hand in case you turn up in the middle of the night, is not fun for her. She’s probably blocked your number but she knows you know where she lives. You, Sir, are a dick.

4. If you purchase some furniture but don’t secure it in the back of your van and drive like a bat out of hell so the items fly around in the back and get damaged, it is not the seller’s fault. Don’t call her. She doesn’t care and neither does she have a friend that can fix it for you. Just because you have her number and she was friendly and helpful, doesn’t mean she gives a shit after you’ve left her driveway. Leave her alone.

Not everyone is like the examples above. Every once in a while – well, only once for me in this whole process – there’ll be someone who restores your faith in humanity. The couple who bought the husband’s car, Jerry the Jeep, were polite, funny, honest, and engaging. I could’ve talked to them for a few hours. If I had the time I and didn’t mind looking like a crazy old woman in their eyes, I would have invited them in for a wine or three. But that would’ve been weird, so I didn’t. These guys wanted a bigger car to transport their fur babies, and who wouldn’t buy a car for that purpose? I love people who are dedicated to their pets. It’s adorable, and makes me have a little faith in the human race. I like it when the Fates show me that not all people suck. Thanks, guys. ❤

So that’s it. Be careful who comes into your house, and if you don’t have a significant other that can provide that backup, I’ll send you John’s number. He doesn’t require payment but loves it when you turn up with a six pack and some neighbourhood gossip.

Jerry the Jeep is now named James. Here he is with his new owners, Bentley (the lab) and Benjamin (the sausage) I love how they’re all colour coordinated! (Photo used with permission of the new owners)

Till next time,
RJ

Not long to go.

You’ll have to excuse my tardiness. When I started this moving-to-the-other-side-of-the-world journey, I had grand plans to blog about it each week and keep you all informed as to what’s going on. Back then I knew I’d be busy, but busy doesn’t begin to cover it. My limited interaction on SM should give you a clue.

The shit you have to do to move countries is enormous. I mean, it’s only 14,926kms. What’s the big deal? Turns out there’s lots of stuff like taking yourself off the electoral role so you don’t get fined for not voting. Oh, and suspending your health insurance so you don’t get whacked with a huge bill when you return. So many other things which I shan’t bore you with. But the list is loooong.

As of today, I have three weeks and five days left in Australia. Daunting, yes. Exciting, yes. I’m at the stage where I wish it was all over and I was sunning myself on a Portuguese beach already. But things are progressing smoothly. I’ve sold both cars and am now running around in my niece’s POS because she’s gone off to Canada for three months and won’t need it. All furniture that we’re not taking with us has been sold and I’m just waiting for people to come and pick it up. (Don’t ask me about selling stuff online, just know that I will NEVER do it again.)

The house has been leased and the tenants are moving in the day after we leave. Fatboy has had all his vaccinations and health checks and is cleared to fly as well.

My house looks like a bomb has hit it and that sends my anxiety spiking but there’s not much I can do about that, so I just breathe and pretend that being a dirty slob is my new normal.

I just look at this pic and pretend I’m there already. (BTW, my new home is a 2-minute walk from this beach. Not bad, huh?)

I’ll try and keep you updated as things progress and I’ll be sure to let you know when I arrive in Portugal.


RJ

Cleaning house and the things you find.

One of the things I have to do is clean out all my drawers and cupboards before we move to Portugal, and although I’ve moved many times around Australia, I’ve never had to cull so much of my stuff before. All previous moves I’ve done, I’ve just had to box everything up and move it, but moving countries means I can’t take everything. The shipping container is only so big.

So… ditching a lot of old stuff that doesn’t get used anymore is what I’ve been doing this last week. The charity bins near me are full!

When you go through drawers that haven’t been opened in a number of years, you’re bound to happen across things you thought were long gone. There are some good memories in my cupboards. And low and behold, I came across a ton of old photos. I suppose that was to be expected.

I found this one below, and realised I haven’t actually changed all that much.

On to the next cupboard.

RJ

What happens when RJ is very tired… If I had three wishes

IF I HAD THREE WISHES…

When I’m overtired I get a little silly and my imagination often runs away. This is me right now. While I was waiting for my husband to cook dinner (I’m lucky like that) my mind wandered off. This is where it went without my permission.

Wish 1 – 55% of the world’s population would be gay. Not to make heterosexuals the minority, but to make being gay as normal as going down the shop for a loaf of bread. ‘Homophobia’ would be stricken from the dictionary simply because it no longer existed.

Wish 2 – Everyone would be born with eyes that didn’t see the colour of other people’s skin. People of colour would still exist but because no one would be able to see it, it would be a non-issue. The only reason why we wouldn’t like someone would be because they had better hair. (My hair sucks, so this is totally legitimate)

Wish 3 – Bigotry and hatred would still be a thing. (C’mon. I’m trying to be realistic here.) However, it would be illegal and severely frowned upon so much that all bigots would be forced to leave the global ‘village’. They would start a commune high in the Siberian mountains where they would be forced to live on berries and magical wild elk. These elk would be in abundance and breed like rabbits. When consumed the hateful person would see the light of their ways, be filled with love, and wonder why they believed in the hatred in the first place. Reformed bigots would be welcomed back into the fold with open arms. Bigots who refuse to eat the magical elk die from starvation. Donald Trump is their leader. He’s currently on an intravenous drip of berry juice, but it doesn’t look good. Even on his deathbed he is still an arsehole.

I apologise for being so tired.
I’m off to bed.

RJ

Lola 1 canape

 

Stuff and Things. And some needed radio silence…

It’s been a bit of a mixed bag for me this week. First I had the release of Black & Bluhe and that went well. Initial reviews have been promising and I’m yet to see anything too negative. It’s all good. I’d like to say a huge THANK YOU to all the blogs that participated in the tour that was coordinated by Will at Pride Promotions.

Participating blogs were (in no particular order):

Prism Book Alliance, Hearts on Fire, Bayou Book Junkie, Jessie G. Books, Carly’s Book Reviews, The Hat Party, Love Bytes, Scattered Thoughts & Rogue Words, My Fiction Nook, The Novel Approach, Just Love Romance Molly Lolly, and Parker Williams.
There’s an exclusive excerpt at each blog stop so be sure to check it out.

On the other side of things, it’s been a tougher week than it should’ve been. There’s been a major upheaval on the homefront which is going to take some time to get through the transition, for both me and the kids. And it’s hitting hard than anticipated.

Things I can usually brush off and say “She’ll be right, don’t worry about us” is becoming harder to do. Little things that don’t usually bother me, do. Things I have no reason to be annoyed with, I am. It’s not rational. I know this.

On the writing side of things, well, I’ve been handed a couple of blows this week as well which is taking up major brain space that I don’t have to spare right now.

It’s all conglomerated into a major shitty week and seeing a lot of negative posts on social media lately hasn’t helped.  Authors behaving badly, readers being ostracised etc has compacted my mood. So I’m going radio silent for a little while and focussing on my family instead. I’ll still answer my emails but if you tag me a in post or leave a comment, please don’t feel like I’m ignoring you. I’m ignoring everybody.

Anyway, I’ll leave you with a hot man pic. Because at the end of a crappy day, they’ll always put a smile on a face, especially these two.  🙂

Sexy BW Men

 

RJ

More on Writer’s Block… I haz it.

 

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So, because I’m not writing anything I’m researching instead.

Writer’s Block definition as per our good friend, Mr Wikipedia:

Writer’s block is a condition, primarily associated with writing, in which an author loses the ability to produce new work or experiences a creative slowdown. The condition ranges in difficulty from coming up with original ideas to being unable to produce a work for years. Throughout history, writer’s block has been a documented problem.[1] Professionals who have struggled with the affliction include author F. Scott Fitzgerald,[2] Joseph Mitchell[3] and pop culture cartoonist Charles M. Schulz.[4] Research concerning this topic was done in the late 1970s and 1980s. During this time, researchers were influenced by the Process and Post-Process movements, and therefore focused specifically on the writer’s processes. The condition was first described in 1947 by psychoanalyst Edmund Bergler.[5]

Blah, blah, freaking blah…  Although it’s nice to know even famous people went through this shit.

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“Writer’s block is for people who have the luxury of time.” ~ Jodi Picoult

Some definitions I’ve come across state that Writer’s Block is the inability to come up with anything to write about. I refer to Mr Wikipedia once more:

Blank page syndrome is similar to writer’s block, but in this case it isn’t a psychological term like writer’s block is. It can happen at any point in time during a writer’s career; be it right after an author dishes out six best-selling novels, or smack dab in the middle of the page. This syndrome can be very irksome to authors and often leads to a long span of time where they can’t come up with anything new. Coping strategies include: distracting yourself from the piece for a while, reading a book, and forcing yourself to write something even if it doesn’t make any sense. To avoid blank page syndrome it’s best to have an idea when you sit down to write, and to keep from procrastinating because stress only worsens the blank page syndrome.

This is not the case for me. I have a WIP with 15k already written, another one with 13k. I also have an outline for one I haven’t started yet. And it’s not like the characters aren’t talking to me. They won’t shut the hell up! My problem is I seem to have lost the ability to write anything I consider any good. My sentences are a mess, my timeline is out. My characters are shitty and one dimensional. My scenes are FORCED. I feel it. They are stilted, and most of the time unreadable. It’s like pulling teeth. I’ve lost my confidence.

 

Chalkboard-Writers-Block

“There is no such thing as writer’s block for writers whose standards are low enough.” ~ William Stafford, American poet

This quote tells me I don’t have writer’s block, just high standards. Do I release something that is sub par? Uh, no. That would be stupid. I’ll just bide my time with research, planning and walking the dog. If it gets any worse I’ll clean the house.

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And here’s the obligatory hot man pic…


RJ

When you can’t figure out what to write for a blog post…

Ever find it difficult to come up with a blog post topic? Yeah me too. That’s why you don’t hear from me very often.

It wasn’t until I took my boys to register for this years season of football (yep, there goes my Sunday morning sleep-ins from now on 😦 ) that we took a wander around our local park and I thought I would share some pics of where I live.

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Isn’t it pretty? We call this ‘The Duck Pond Park’ for obvious reasons. I have no idea what the actual name is despite living around the corner for the better part of ten years.

While we were there the local flock of cockatoos were in town. Yes, they’re a lovely looking bird, but they’re really a pain in the ass. Look what they’ve done to this tree:

IMG_1123You probably can’t see it too clearly, but half the tree is bare; stripped completely of its leaves. And they’re noisy. Seriously, a flock of this many birds screeching is enough to have you abandon the park and going for the ear plugs.

But there are some good points about these types of native birds. They’re cute for one, and they can talk and do tricks if you get one as a pet. But be prepared to fork out $$$ for a hand-reared baby. Their life span is long enough they’ll probably still be doing tricks at your funeral.

I saw these three (below) and thought about me and my two sisters. See the middle one is screeching and squawking and generally being a bitch, making sure we know that even though she’s the middle sister (not as cool as the older sister and not as pretty as the younger sister – read me) she’s still an integral part of the family.

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But my favourite shot was of these two:

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I watched them for a while and at first they were bickering back and forth like an old married couple, then the one on the left must have won the argument because she got a snuggle and groom from her partner. I can almost hear the aww’s.

I love living here.


RJ

 

Coffee? Left vein today please.

I was told by a well-known author friend of mine that now I have started writing I will end up with an addiction to coffee.

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Little did she know I was already there.  My day does not start until after the first cup.  I’m fairly coherent after the second and I refuse to leave the house until after the third – unless of course I’m going out for coffee then the third one can wait. But not for long.

If you ever come to visit you may be offered a ‘George.’  I live on my Nespresso machine and I was very excited today when my delivery guy showed up with my usual 200 capsules. I sat down and enjoyed a ‘George.’

Everyone should have their very own ‘George.’  Emoji

 

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Now all I need is a delivery guy who looks like this:

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Or this:

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Or maybe even this:

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I’ll leave you with this note:

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RJ x

A word on patience…

It would appear that I don’t posses this virtue, which I thought, for the past umpteen years I did.

I can sit at a cafe and wait patiently for my coffee, happy to people watch and view the sights around me.

I can sit at a train station and patiently wait for my ride to the city, again, happy to people watch.

If I have my Kindle with me, I could patiently wait all damn day.

Sometimes while waiting patiently for a doctor’s appointment I have waited patiently all damn day.

My kids often ask me ‘when’s Dad coming home?  When are our cousins coming?  When’s the bus coming?‘ to which I always reply, when he/they/it arrive. Have patience.

But it would seem when waiting for a reply from the publisher to see if my book is going to be contracted, then I have no patience.  Their submission details state X amount of weeks for the review process on all submissions.  I’m currently at the end of week 3 and I know I have at least another X amount of weeks to go.  But does this stop me from checking my email everyday, just on the off chance that the publisher has nothing better to do than review my submission?  No.

It’s stupid.  I know this.  I keep telling myself to have patience.  My husband says ‘suck it up, you’ll just have to wait.’  And he’s right.  I can’t do anything but wait, and hope it gets accepted.  And if it doesn’t?  Then I guess I’ll submit to another publisher and start the whole waiting patiently game again.

RJ x